30 Jul [MMA] 
UFC on ESPN+ 31 pre-event facts: Vicente Luque closes in on welterweight finishes record

The UFC returns to Las Vegas on Saturday to kick off a five-event month beginning with UFC on ESPN+ 31, which takes place at the UFC Apex and has an 11-fight card that streams entirely on ESPN+.

After Holly Holm vs. Irene Aldana fell through as the original main event, a matchup of middleweight contenders now headlines the card as Derek Brunson (20-7 MMA, 11-5 UFC) takes on undefeated surging contender Edmen Shahbazyan (11-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) in a three-round bout.

For more on the numbers behind the card, check below for 40 pre-event facts about UFC on ESPN+ 31.

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Main event

Derek Brunson

Brunson competes in his fourth UFC main event. He’s 1-2 in previous headliners.

Brunson’s 11 victories since 2012 in UFC middleweight competition are the most in the division.

Brunson’s seven first-round stoppage victories in UFC middleweight competition are most in divisional history.

Brunson is one of five fighters in modern UFC history to register both a knockout and submission victory in less than one minute each. Joe Lauzon, Ronda Rousey, Tom Lawlor and Andrei Arlovski also accomplished the feat.

Edmen Shahbazyan

Shahbazyan, 22, is the youngest of the 22 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Shahbazyan’s four-fight UFC winning streak at middleweight is the third longest active streak in the division behind Israel Adesanya (eight) and Paulo Costa (five).

Shahbazyan has earned 10 of his 11 career victories by stoppage. That includes three of his four UFC wins.

Co-main event

Joanne Calderwood

Joanne Calderwood (14-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) is 4-1 in UFC women’s flyweight competition. She’s 6-1 in her career at 125 pounds.

Calderwood’s four victories in UFC women’s flyweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Valentina Shevchenko (five), Gillian Robertson (five) and Katlyn Chookagian (five).

Calderwood has earned four of her six UFC victories by decision.

Calderwood’s 68 leg kicks landed at UFC 238 are the single-fight record for a three-round UFC fight.

Jennifer Maia (17-6-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has earned her past six victories by decision. That includes both of her UFC wins.

Remaining main card

Vicente Luque

Vicente Luque (18-7-1 MMA, 11-3 UFC) has earned 16 of his 18 career victories by stoppage. That includes 10 of his 11 UFC wins.

Luque’s 10 stoppage victories since 2015 in UFC welterweight competition are most in the division during that span.

Luque’s 10 stoppage victories in UFC welterweight competition are third most in divisional history behind Matt Brown (13) and Matt Hughes (12).

Luque’s seven knockout victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Brown (11) and Thiago Alves (eight).

Luque is one of seven fighters in UFC history to earn their first nine victories with the promotion by stoppage. Lauzon, Francis Ngannou, Vitor Belfort, Don Frye, Gabriel Gonzaga and Royce Gracie also accomplished the feat.

Luque and Bryan Barberena combined for 332 significant strikes at UFC on ESPN 1, the third most for a three-round fight in UFC history behind Karol Rosa vs. Lara Procopio (336) at UFC on ESPN+ 15 and Nate Diaz vs. Donald Cerrone (334) at UFC 141.

Luque’s two D’Arce choke victories in UFC competition are tied with Dustin Poirier for second most in company history behind Tony Ferguson (three).

Luque is one of 17 fighters in UFC history to earn a submission victory by anaconda choke. He accomplished the feat at UFC on FOX 17.

Lando Vannata’s (11-4-2 MMA, 3-4-2 UFC) two draws in men’s UFC competition are tied with Ken Shamrock, B.J. Penn and Caol Uno for most in company history.

Bobby Green

Bobby Green (25-10-1 MMA, 6-5-1 UFC) makes his second UFC appearances in a 41-day stretch. He won at UFC on ESPN 11 on June 20.

Green is 2-5 (with one no contest) in his past eight fights dating back to November 2014.

Kevin Holland (16-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) lands 60 percent of his significant strikes attempts in UFC middleweight competition, the second best rate in divisional history behind Anderson Silva (60.2 percent).

Trevin Giles (12-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is 2-2 since he dropped to the UFC middleweight division in December 2017.

Preliminary card

Frankie Saenz

Frankie Saenz (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC), 39, is the oldest of the 22 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Saenz has earned all five of his UFC victories by decision.

Ed Herman (25-14 MMA, 12-10 UFC) is 3-3 since he returned to the light heavyweight division in January 2016.

Herman enters the event on his first winning streak since August 2011.

Gerald Meerschaert (30-12 MMA, 6-4 UFC) moved up to the UFC light heavyweight division after spending his previous 10 promotional appearances at middleweight.

Meerschaert has earned 28 of his 30 career victories by stoppage. That includes all six of his UFC wins.

Meerschaert’s five submission victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied with Demian Maia, Rousimar Palhares, Thales Leites and Antonio Carlos Junior for most in divisional history.

Meerschaert is one of 17 fighters in UFC history to earn a submission victory by anaconda choke. He accomplished the feat at UFC Fight Night 102.

Ray Borg

Ray Borg (13-5 MMA, 7-5 UFC) is 1-1 since he returned to the UFC flyweight division in February 2019. He fell to 6-4 in the weight class under the UFC banner.

Eric Spicely (12-5 MMA, 2-5 UFC) enters the event on a four-fight losing skid in UFC competition. He hasn’t earned a victory with the promotion since January 2017.

Markus Perez (11-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his past six fights. He was defeated in his most recent bout at UFC on ESPN+ 22 in November.

Perez is one of 17 fighters in UFC history to earn a submission victory by anaconda choke. He accomplished the feat at UFC on ESPN+ 2.

Chris Gutierrez (15-4-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) has earned one of 13 finishes UFC history stemming from leg kicks. He accomplished the feat at UFC on ESPN 9.

UFC research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.